Having a Eurail pass is fairly easy to use in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. You start using it in France and you need to check if you need reservations (extra charges). In Italy however, just get a reservation. We were told by train staff in Florence that we do not need a reservation from Florence to Venice. Wrong ! The intercity trains are often the more "modern", faster ones and will require a reservation. Italy is expensive in this regard, you pay extra for everything but the service is no better than elsewhere in Europe. Then the local busses in Florence: what a disaster. The bus stops are badly signed, with little help for a foreigner to find out routes and times. The Tourist office gave us a bus route map but advised we don't use it as its too confusing. Which is true. Luckily Florence is compact. Just walk, less stress and agony.
On the station in Florence we found mostly chaos, 2 or 3 staff members trying to handle hordes of people with questions, badly signed areas, no tourist info office and gypsies roaming around. Some police were escorting groups off the station but we even encountered some on the train when loading our luggage ! Train staff warned us about them. Very unsettling to say the least.
While Italy has so much to offer, their systems are chaotic, the people often unfriendly and unhelpful, rude even. The public areas are neglected and dirty, entrance fees overpriced. The entrance to the Boboli gardens is E 10, that does not include the palace. The Tuilleries gardens in Paris are far more interesting and its an open, public park.